Tag Archives: micro campers

Aliner expands Ascape floorplans

It was about this time last year when Aliner introduced the diminutive Ascape travel trailer. The 13 foot, 1350lbs Ascape initially came with a fridge, microwave, stove, and sink, with a TV and sound bar, awning, air conditioning, and potty as a packaged option.

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Aliner has increased the floorplans for 2018 for the Ascape to give you four different layouts, ranging from a spartan interior with no appliances to one with a wet bath and kitchen.

The Ascape MT is the spartan layout. It’s geared for maybe those who tent camp that want to get off the ground and into a little bit better shelter. You won’t get a microwave, stove, sink, or toilet with the MT. But you will get lights, a Fantastic Fan, and a solar port. And you’ll get decent sleeping quarters and a very lightweight trailer at just 1170 lbs.

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(courtesy http://mountcomfortrv.com)

The Ascape Camp is a nice upgrade from the MT. The Camp offers excellent cabinet storage on the right as you enter, and on the left if a standard 2-burner stove, sink, and a 1.9 cubic foot refrigerator, with additional overhead cabinets and storage below the counter as well. This is a very good floor plan if you want storage, a kitchen, and excellent counter prep space. Other standards on the Camp include an outside shower, a 16K BTU Atwood furnace, a 6 gallon Suburban water heater, and a 9200 BTU Coleman Mach 8 rooftop air conditioner. While heavier than the MT, the Ascape Camp is still considerably lightweight at 1495 lbs.

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The Ascape ST is a floor plan that Aliner needed to introduce to stay competitive with other brands of similar size. I got several notes after my review of the Ascape last summer from readers lamenting the fact there was no shower in the first Ascape floor plan that hit the market in 2017. And it was my opinion for the Ascape to survive against a similarly priced T@B that had a wet bath, they needed to add one too, and that they did with the Ascape ST. Not only does it offer a fair sized wet bath on the right as you come in, but it also has the same kitchen features as the Ascape Camp with the sink, 2-burner stove, and 1.9 cubic foot refrigerator. However, with the addition of the wet bath on the right, you lose a lot of storage and all that prep space the Camp features. But it doesn’t take much creativity to utilize the table for prep space, or on a good day, take it outside. The standards on the ST mirror those of the Camp model with an outside shower, a 16K BTU Atwood furnace, a 6 gallon Suburban water heater, and a 9200 BTU Coleman Mach 8 rooftop air conditioner. With the shower, you gain a 13 gallon gray water tank. There is not a black water tank for the toilet as the ST utilizes a cassette toilet. The weight on the ST is just a tad heavier than the Camp, checking in at 1575 lbs.

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The last floor plan, the Ascape Plus, is the original floor plan that hit the market in 2017. It also offers the greatest number of features as standard, including a larger sink, 2-burner stove, range hood, microwave, 5′ awning, 23″ flat screen TV with sound bar, Thetford cassette toilet, front mounted solar panel, outside shower, dual 20lbs propane tanks, Suburban 6 gallon water heater, 16K BTU Atwood furnace, and a 3.0 cubic foot 3-way refrigerator. Again, all those are standard features. The only thing not offered in the Ascape Plus is the interior shower. Having the most number of goodies, the Plus is the heaviest of the four floor plans, but it still comes in at a manageable 1630 lbs.

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So as we can see, the folks at Aliner have been busy this past year developing new floor plans for the Ascape. And what they’ve come up with should really satisfy a lot of different camping needs amongst the small trailerists looking for something less than 2,000 lbs that you can stand in. Due to the drop floor in the Ascape, all four models have a maximum 6’4″ interior height, are a total 13′ in length from hitch to tail, are just 6’1″ wide, and 8’4″ tall including the roof top air conditioner (7’5″ on the MT model without A/C). With the dinette in the bed configuration, it produces a roomy 77″ x 64″ sleeping area. All floor plans sit on a 2500 lbs Dexter axle, which equates to cargo capacities ranging from 870 lbs to 1330 lbs, and hitch weights from 170 lbs to 229 lbs. You also have four different exterior graphic colors to choose from in red, black, green, and blue.

To learn more about the Aliner Ascape, visit the Aliner website at http://aliner.com/campers/

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Jayco Introduces the Hummingbird

Middlebury, Indiana based Jayco, Inc. has introduced a new product to their travel trailer line for 2017 called the Hummingbird. Currently there are three floorplans  for this new lightweight unit that, as you might guess with one look at it, will be in direct competition with Forest River’s R-pod and Winnebago’s Winnie Drop.

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The three floor plans will be the 2715 lbs Hummingbird 17FD:

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The (weight TBD) Hummingbird 17RB:

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And the 2910 lbs Hummingbird 17RK:

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From the specs on the Jayco website, they’ll have 25 gallon tanks for fresh, gray, and black water with a 6-gallon gas/electric DSI water heater. Some of the usual modern day standards will include interior and exterior LED lighting, AM/FM/CD/DVD/Bluetooth stereo with speakers, black tank flush, power awning with LED lighting, 2.1-amp USB port in all models, solar ready, and 3 cu. ft. 2-way Norcold refrigerator just to name a few features.

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MSRP for these 20 footers will start out at just under $22,000, which should put them in the same price range as R-pods and Winnie Drops. And with Forest River’s lawsuit against Winnebago earlier this year regarding the similarities between the R-pod and Winnie Drop, don’t be surprised if we see similar action taken against Jayco, as has been the Forest River way starting out with the defunct Heartland mpg a few years back.

I checked out R-pod’s floor plans and sure enough, all three floor plans of the Hummingbird are floor plans that R-pod has:

The Hummingbird 17FD = R-pod RP-178

The Hummingbird 17RB = R-pod RP-180

The Hummingbird 17RK = R-pod RP-179

So I’m pretty sure we’ll see press releases by summer’s end pouring out of Forest River’s legal team. One possible saving grace from an exterior standpoint for the Hummingbird is the lower front end, where it has a concave look to it, similar to that of a late 1960’s era Shasta Loflyte.

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Without seeing one in person, I have to say I really like the looks of the Hummingbird when compared to the R-pod and the Winnie Drop. The decal package on the Winnie Drop is a hot mess and the R-pod never really has done much for me aesthetically. And as a point of disclosure, I say this as an owner of a Forest River product and a stockholder in Winnebago.  And don’t forget, Jayco offers their 2-year warranty on these where the others are just 1-year.

You can find out more about the 2017 Jayco Hummingbird at their website at: http://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2017-hummingbird/

 

(Hummingbird photos courtesy jayco.com)

 

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